Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Technology as a Reflection of the Past

We're told of the miracle the night of the 10th plague (Rashi, Ex. 12:37), where the Jews managed, as a collective body, to abandon Egypt in haste - so hasty, in fact, that they traveled from Raamses to Sokkos, a journey of 3 full days, in the time it takes to cover the distance by an eagle; In practically "no time!"

Of course the very fact all Jews departed from one solitary city - that in itself was part of the miracle. After all, they had been spread out in the province of Goshen.

In Torah-like vernacular, the Jews experienced the miracle as a "leap across the way" - "קפיצת הדרך".

The very best proof that this miraculous phenomenon was a sign of the times, something that actually happened to our forefathers - in their times - is the fact that today too, in our own times, we too witness the miracle of swift transport across great distances at a time.

Because we live in a latter century, the miracle manifests under different conditions, but the miracle of modern-day transportation definitely has us experiencing this miracle daily, as a matter of fact.

Similarly, the best proof we have of former-day prophetic powers to "know" what is happening in distal quarters, referred to in Torah-like jargon as "רוח הקודש", is our own miracle of knowing what happens in far-off places, as we experience the technological marvels of TV, radio and internet streaming.

We may not be privy to to these "miracles" as such, in which case we suffer spiritual myopia. (אין בעל הנס מכיר בנסו)

Truth is, we're into the Era of Redemption and it is all crystalizing before our senses. It's just that it's about time for the "real thing" and, as they say, "enough with the signs!"

Monday, December 30, 2013

Some See "Half-Empty"; But Others See "Half-Full"

Let it not pass unnoticed that Haman, the Amalekite, our notorious hero in the holy Scroll of Esther - lived in Persia.

The Midrash (Isaiah chpt. 60, Yalkut Shimoni) prophecied that a "The King of Persia" (link) will fight the King of Arabia ..."

That Midrash, invoked by the Rebbe, signaled that that Midrash referred to our current time - our current Moshiach times! Accordingly, we have our current day Haman, and, curiously enough, sporting the same name, albeit somewhat differently pronounced, "Homeini" - instead of Haman.

The "King of Arabia" most likely refers to the king of Saudi Arabia, who will then seek help from "Aram" - which sure sounds like "America" or "Euro-America". The Yalkut does not present a pretty picture of events that will unfold - except for one, solitary exception; And that is, whatever is happening is happening for THE GOOD OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE!

Truth is, it looks like things are rolling along quite ordinarily, and as if some future disaster upon the world can bring furious havoc to all. While that may be true, that it does seem ordinary and expected, given the free reins offered to Iran to build the atomic weapon, given the upheaval Arabs are causing the world over, given the severe deterioration of morality in America, given the foolishness of Israeli-governmental policy, given the rise in world anti-Semitism, etc., things are not what they seem! Things are turning in favor of world Jewry - much as outrageous as that sounds while the world slides downwards.

But that's just it. It's all mirrors, all distractive fluff, all effects that SEEM like things will be getting worse. But that illusion merely fronts for the undercurrent activity that is accelerating Moshiach's arrival for all the world to very soon be witness to.

The sooner the better. Moshaich now!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Rabbi Avigdor Miller's Latest Book

The recently published book "A Divine Madness", by Rabbi Avigdor Miller, tells about how Jewish reformist elements across Europe tore at the flesh of Orthodox Judaism, effectively bringing the traditional love and sanctity of Judaic lifestyle to the brink of extinction. Then came the terrible holocaust that, paradoxically, left mostly orthodoxy in its wake.

Rabbi Miller's words pack with emotion and plenty of detail as he describes European Jewry gutting that which had been so dear to Jewish people for millennia, and the subsequent horrific abuse and slaughter of the Jewish people.

He never quite says so, but the implication you are left with is - that the holocaust came as a result of the abandonment of religion.

Truth is, correlation does not prove causation. Every fact Rabbi Miller writes about is true, but nowhere, in fact, does the good Rabbi explicitly state that the former state of affairs caused the latter catastrophe.

I say this because the Rebbe had said that nobody can claim knowledge of why so great a horror was wrought upon the Jewish people. Just as sure as Abraham was surprised to learn his offspring will suffer for 400 years, with no reason offered, so too the holocaust came about as a decree of God - one that nobody can understand. The ways of God remain a mystery to Man and the holocaust, he said, was just such a decree. Nobody, said the Rebbe, can say this supreme tragedy came as the result of punishment.

It is important to note, therefore, that - in fact - Rabbi Miller possessed this manuscript for many years, as per the book's prologue, but never finished it and never published it. It's present publication was initiated by some of his students and admirers (of which I myself count as one) posthumously. Perhaps it was because, in fact, Rabbi Miller shared the Rebbe's view and therefore could not bring himself to establish with certainty real cause and effect.

Having said that, I really enjoyed every word in the book, including its great running commentary. The Rabbi, as in all his books, knows so much and delivers his diatribe against those who would dilute Judaism with brilliance and impact.

The book's subtitle, "Rabbi Avigdor Miller's Defense of Hashem in the Matter of the Holocaust", may well have been Rabbi Miller's reason for his writing the manuscript. "Defending Hashem" for the holocaust may just mean it worked out that Hashem's plan had full import, but this could be said of anything and everything Hashem does. However, the actual and many reasons for the holocaust will never and can never be known in this world.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What Difference Moshiach's Identity?

Overheard this dialogue:

What difference does it make who Moshiach is? Do I care if it's Daniel, who comes from the dead, or someone else, who comes from among us today - what difference does it make?! Whoever he is - we'll accept him! Period! So why push someone's identity if it makes no difference?

Your question might seem like a solid question, but then ask yourself why, if his identity is unimportant, why does Maimonides, in one of his final chapters, which deals with Moshiach, why is it he enumerated the qualifications for Moshiach's identity? The Rambam did not, in his amazing compendium of laws, use words cheaply. Every word, you and I feel sure of, is important. How much more so an entire set of qualifications on how to identify Moshiach!

OK, so why, in fact, does it make a difference?

Not sure.

Personally, I can only conjecture. Perhaps because by knowing his identity you can then educate yourself further in what he, that particular tzaddik, taught. After all, such a personality is not merely a name but a personal and Torah-laden dynamo. Just see what great powers he must have to qualify.

Perhaps it's to get you to become more interested, because if it's some unknown long-ago figure who you know little about personally, maybe you'd not change yourself one iota for the better, because, after all, no one compels you to do so - for his sake! In other words, it may be important enough to strike these qualifications into the stone of law because you thereby will have to judge for yourself and determine whether or not to believe it in the first place, or not, else why the laws?

Perhaps by knowing you also now have to behave accordingly; As long as the figure is a far-fetched, nebulous personality, you will bide your time for however much longer you want to remain disattached; But a Jew and the Jewish people are given reasons for upward mobility and this issue may be important enough for each individual so as to move the entire mass of the Jewish body to accept something they yet know nothing about - as long as this figure remains some vague vision. Then you can contemplate and introspect all you want - but it will cost you nothing in "anticipating Moshiach"!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Conversation Overheard

Do you believe the Rebbe is Moshiach?

You mean - as of now?


I do.

And the event of Gimmel Tammuz, how does that square with your belief?

It doesn't touch it. I believe he was Moshiach before that date, and what happened Gimmel Tammuz merely strains the belief when given over to doubts in the words of the Rebbe. Some of us, however, never doubted the Rebbe and think he well knew the challenge we stand to face with "Nature bickerers". In fact, his words hold much greater sway than any pessimism some would like to instil.

Nevertheless, if he's Moshiach - is he alive now?

Yes, but don't ask me again how that and Nature see eye-to-eye. Gimmel Tammuz is a TEST, and nothing but the last test, before supernatural lenses will reveal the truth to us - that God is all about, and that God is, redeeming the Jewish people NOW, before our very eyes. To see this, to have it revealed, all it takes is rejecting man-made logic, and, instead, accepting simple, complete reliance on the words of the Rebbe, from back in 1991 when he said, for the umpteenth time, "We are in the Era of Redemption...." Do you doubt these words he spoke?

Yes. He did not speak to our sense of things.

This is where you and I differ. I take his words at face value. Fully believed, every one of his utterances. Some points I may well not understand, like how he can be alive and yet remain invisible to us, but that technicality I'll figure out when the time comes.

What about news items like Iran gaining nuclear capability, anti-Semitism the world over, the isolation of Israel, the apathy or hate countries have for Israel?

If anything, these very aspects of the "usual" all seem to point to things coming quickly to their end game. How much longer do you think God will let Iran threaten and, forget it, open with the nuclear option? We're at the brink already, if you see the entire scope of worldly affairs, as things "naturally" fall into play. What we do NOT see but WILL see very soon is how all the evil will be upstaged at the end - by God Almighty's intervention for salvation.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

The Beautiful Eyes of Moshiach = 770

Targum Yonatan translates Genesis 49:12
(where Yaakov blesses Yehudah)
"His eyes sparkle more than wine ..."
חכלילי עינים מיין
as follows:

מה יאין הינון דמלכא משיחא
"How beautiful those eyes of King Moshiach ..."

The 4th Lubavitcher Rebbe (the Maharash), in discussing this Targum (Torat Shmuel 1872, p.142), curiously, "misquotes" the Targum by dropping one word and changing the spelling of the next word, to read,
מה יאין עיינין דמלכא משיחא

Slight as the change is, for the meaning rendered remains the same, no such change occurs for nothing, most especially by a Rebbe of Chabad - who is always meticulously precise! So a Lubavitcher chassid (heard from S.B. Zuta) took pencil to paper to doodle with the numbers. Amazingly, the modified version of the verse from Targum - as quoted by the Maharash - in Gematria - yields 770! It's as if the Maharash already back then had seen into the eyes of Moshiach and could not help himself from changing the words slightly, to offer an impulsive albeit cloaked prophecy, thereby implicating 770 as the future House of Moshiach (בית משיח = 770).

Some will of course say it's a coincidence. But there are no coincidences in the universe - especially for a Rebbe, the Moses of his generation!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Reform "Judaism" - The Bane of Jewish Traditon

The supplemental invocation we include in our daily prayers, as well as in the blessing after a meal, during Chanukah, elaborates miracles that occurred some 2,150 years ago during the Hasmonean uprising of Israel's Jews against the Greek/Syrian empire, which attempted to stifle the Jewish people's spiritual affiliation with God.

Part of that prayer, ostensibly, makes no sense. Of the list of 5 miracles that occurred during that 3-year war, the first two make good sense, namely:
"You delivered
1) "the strong into hands of the weak;
2) "the many into hands of the few".

But the latter 3 seem to make no sense at all, namely:
3) "the defiled into hands of the pure;
4) "the transgressors into hands of the righteous; and
5) "the reformists into hands of the Torah-true."

Why should "defiled" people necessarily be stronger than those with "hands of the pure", so much so that this qualified as a "miracle"? Besides, what two sectors of people are being referred to by "defiled" and "pure"?

Similarly, why assume "transgressors" and "reformists" are necessarily stronger than "righteous" or "Torah-true" Jews?

A little fact of history answers this question. Would you believe it - the Gentile army enjoyed as their ally a large segment from amidst the Jewish people themselves! These Jews sought to reform Torah in order to assimilate with the Greek culture. Once the righteous Hasmoneans began their fight, these assimilated "Hellenists" actually took up arms and fought against their Hasmonean brethren - in concert with the Gentiles whom they so admired.

(We can get a sense of this history by looking no further than the likes of movements such as "Peace Now", or the likes of those Reform women at the Kotel who antagonize religious culture.)

In other words, this Hellenist component more severely tilted the military odds against the Torah-true Jews.

Nevertheless, Torah-true Jews won the war.

So, while the first 2 miracles refer to the Gentile component of the adversary, the last 3 miracles refer to their Jewish sympathizers, who were also soundly shellacked.